The retrograde thrusters. The ship’s sensors had detected a threat or an obstacle. There wasn’t anything on this route when they had last checked.
The Triad rushed to the Navigation Room. The Triad reached the Navigation Room when they saw the alarm blazing. 287 reached the panel to check the reason for the alarm.
“There seems to be a system issue.”
“I checked the systems last night,” 301 said, “and it was all working.”
“The starboard side sensor detected a vehicle about a million km away. There is no…”
He stopped mid sentence when he saw the sensor results showing an object that looked … just like Earth Escape.
301 saw it at the same time. So did 291. They all froze at what they saw on the screen. There was no Earth. So, there was no possibility of a human spacecraft. So, there was no probability of another spacecraft like theirs. But, the sensor showed exactly the opposite. Here was another spacecraft that looked just like theirs. The retrograde thrusters fired again. The starboard and port retrograde thrusters also fired together to slow down the spacecraft. They fired now once every minute. The speed they had gained in the last day or two was all gone.
“This is our chance to find out what happened to Earth. We should go full speed ahead to that spacecraft.”
“What if there’s some danger lurking there?” 291 asked.
“Our situation ain’t worse than death. There is some other life form out there. We need to find out who it is. We’ve been alone for 300 years.”
As he spoke he overrode the controls to move Earth Escape in the direction of the oncoming spacecraft on their starboard side and pushed the engines full speed ahead towards the spacecraft.
“Now, we have two things to talk about at the Town Hall.”
291 and 287 were not looking forward to this Town Hall.